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Interviu cu Kathryn Wagner: Crile sunt o extraordinar eliberare de cotidian

3 octombrie 2013 | Categoria: interviuri

Kathryn Wagner

Parisul dezvelit de aparene, fastuoasa perioad belle poque readus la via. Acestea sunt doar dou din meritele literare ale romanului Dansatoarea lui Degas de Kathryn Wagner (Editura Humanitas). Confesiunile unei tinere balerine te poart cu uurin ntr-o lume i un timp n care arta conta cu adevrat, iar oamenii fceau sacrificii importante de dragul ei. Forat de mam s-i ntrein familia srac, Alexandrie i folosete talentul pentru dans ca s intre la Opera din Paris i s-i construiasc o nou via, departe de culesul ardeilor iui. ncrederea n baletul Operei i este zdruncinat cnd descoper dedesubturile relaiilor dintre balerine i publicul adorator, adic abonaii cu bani care le ntrein. n timp ce muncete din greu ca s-i ctige statutul de prim-balerin i ncearc s-l descifreze pe faimosul pictor Edgar Degas, cel care i face numeroase portrete, Alexandrie triete pur i simplu la vie parisienne

Wagner recreeaz ficional spiritul frenetic al impresionismului, definit de discuiile i

confruntrile de idei dintre Monet, Pissaro i Degas, de la cafeneaua Guerbois. Poveste despre ambiie, integritate, sensurile artei i dragoste, Dansatoarea lui Degas m-a captivat de la nceput pn la sfrit prin scriitura proaspt, caracterul incoruptibil al lui Alexandrie i prin figura capriciosului Degas. Zic s-o cunoatem mai bine pe autoarea acestui roman:

Romanul Dansatoarea lui Degas poate fi privit ca un omagiu pentru dou din cele mai frumoase arte: baletul i pictura. Care a fost inspiraia pentru a le aduce mpreun? Ce mi-a plcut cel mai mult scriind Dansatoarea lui Degas a fost s aduc la via picturile lui Degas. Documentarea despre tinerele balerine, despre abonai [n.n. abonns - un privilegiu al brbailor nstrii care se abonau s ia parte la repetiiile de balet, flirtau cu balerinele i le acompaniau n vestiar] i despre Degas a fost fascinant i nu ntotdeauna frumoas. Dincolo de suprafa, ntlneai o juxtapunere ntre motivele pentru care balerinele alegeau baletul i izolarea lui Degas. Aa am gsit inspiraia pentru personajul meu principal Alexandrie.

Eu cred c Alexandrie e un personaj foarte puternic, care ncearc s rmn integru n ciuda a orice, care lupt pentru visele sale i dispreuiete compromisurile. Cum pot literatura, tinerele femei i societatea adopta astfel de modele? Ce prere ai despre feminism? Cred c Alexandrie e puternic pentru c a avut un scop precis: s fie independent i s nu se bazeze pe altcineva pentru traiul de zi cu zi. Cele mai bune modele de urmat sunt femeile care i contureaz singure viaa i au ncrederea de a-i urma visurile. Asta ar putea nsemna s-i lase jobul foarte bine pltit pe care l ursc pentru ceva ce iubesc, i n final s aib o via fericit. mi place o poveste bun de tipul de la zdrene la bogii, dar visurile sunt despre fericire i cred c muli dintre noi uit asta n drumul spre succes. M consider o feminist pentru c simt cu adevrat c o femeie n-ar trebui s se compromit sau s se bazeze pe o alt persoan cnd crede c n-are alte opiuni. Aceasta e o tem recurent n Dansatoarea lui Degas, cnd Alexandrie observ situaia familiei sale i-apoi ntrevede preul pe care ar trebui s-l plteasc, din punct de vedere moral, dac ar intra n lumea abonailor.

Ct de mult te identifici cu Alexandrie? Empatizez cu ea pentru c e un pic vistoare, dar muncete foarte mult ca s-i ndelineasc visurile. ncerc s-mi triesc viaa la fel. De fapt, a scrie un roman a fost unul dintre cele mai mari visuri ale mele! Am deschis recent o firm de consultan mpreun cu un coleg de-al meu. A fost nfricotor s las sigurana unui salariu regulat, dar n cele din urm a devenit o recompens s dein controlul carierei mele. Cred cu trie c nu trebuie s te trezeti dimineaa i s deteti ziua ce ncepe. Atunci este momentul s faci o schimbare pentru c viaa este prea scurt.

Ce-i place cel mai mult la Edgar Degas, ce te-a marcat n legtur cu biografia i pictura sa? Am fost uimit de druirea sa pentru art. Am fost surprins s aflu c a avut probleme cu vederea i c a orbit la finalul vieii. Chiar m-a emoionat faptul c a trit pentru arta sa pn ntr-att, nct la sfritul vieii n-a mai apucat s priveasc tot ce a realizat. E chiar sfietor.

Ballet Rehearsal on Stage Edgar Degas (c. 1874)

Blue Dancers Edgar Degas (c. 1899)

Te simi mai apropiat de stilul artistic boem, ca Degas, sau preferi o munc organizat i concentrat (Alexandrie)? Cred c puin din amndou. Nu-mi place s stau n spatele unui birou toat ziua i s trag din greu pe mai multe proiecte creative. Cu toate acestea, sunt destul de organizat i concentrat cnd vine vorba de a-mi termina proiectele. Mi se pun noduri n stomac la gndul de a rata un deadline!

Cum i cnd ai nceput s scrii? Am nceput s scriu n timpul facultii i asta m-a ndreptat spre o licen n jurnalism. Am scris pentru numeroase ziare i-am descoperit c scrisul de propuneri de marketing e o munc stabil. Dansatoarea lui Degas a fost o trud de dragoste care a durat aproape 3 ani de la nceput pn la publicare. A devenit un proiect special pe care l fceam n plus, i m-am ndrgostit pe parcurs de poveste i de personajele ei.

Ce sfaturi i-ai da unui scriitor aspirant? Cel mai important lucru e s iubeti ceea ce scrii att de mult, nct s nu conteze dac e publicat sau nu. A scrie ficiune trebuie s fie distractiv i o eliberare emoional la care doreti s lucrezi n fiecare zi. Odat ce cartea ta prinde contur, d-o unor prieteni sau grupuri de lectur s-o citeasc i ascult-le feedback-ul. Dup ce simi c e ntr-o form ndeajuns de bun pentru a gsi un agent literar s te reprezinte, pregtete-te pentru cei doi R scrisori de respingere i revizuiri. Muli ageni vor gsi motive pentru care nu vor s-i reprezinte cartea. Asta poate fi foarte util n revizuirea manuscrisului pentru ca ali poteniali ageni s nu aib aceeai reacie. De exemplu, am primit mult feedback c Alexandrie prea puin rsfat i antipatic. Am lucrat la revizuirea caracterului ei i-am gsit un agent care a empatizat cu povestea ei.

n opinia ta, cum poate literatura s ne mbunteasc vieile? Cum ai convinge pe cineva s nceap s citeasc? Literatura i ascute mintea pentru c i imaginezi scena n timp ce-o citeti. Este distracie activ, fa de pasivitatea din faa televizorului. A convinge pe cineva s citeasc oferindu-i ceva ce l/o intereseaz. Nu conteaz ct de grea este cartea, att timp ct cititorul o gsete distractiv. Crile sunt o extraordinar eliberare de cotidian. Orice proaspt printe ar trebui s-i citeasc de mic copilului astfel nct s creasc ntr-un mediu bogat n poveti care-i influeneaz pozitiv dezvoltarea creierului.

Care sunt scriitorii ti preferai i de ce? Am devenit interesat de ficiunea istoric dup ce-am citit-o pe Philippa Gregory. mi plac povetile ei bazate pe scandaluri de la curtea regal. Recent am citit Night Film de Marisha Pessl i mi-a plcut att de mult c am nceput s citesc imediat i prima ei carte [Special Topics in Calamity Physics]. David Sedaris m face s rd n hohote, iar Ann Rule scrie cel mai bine genul crime.

Poi s ne spui cte ceva despre cartea la care lucrezi n prezent? M documentez pe viaa lui Edvard Munch i ncerc s-mi dau seama dac vreau s scriu alt roman istoric sau un roman cu aciunea n prezent bazat pe viaa sa. Munch este artistul norvegian faimos pentru tabloul iptul, i nu m pot stura de personajele nebune de care s-a nconjurat. (traducerea/adaptarea Cristina Stan)

* Mai jos putei citi versiunea original, n englez, a interviului.

Paris unveiled of its illusions, the glamourous period of belle poque brought back to life. These are just two of the literary merits of Dancing for Degas, a novel by Kathryn Wagner. A young ballerinas confessions smoothly carry us into a space and time in which art really mattered and people made important sacrifices for its sake. Forced by her mother to financially support her poor family, Alexandrie uses her dancing talent to get into the Opera in Paris and to build a new life, one that does not imply picking hotpeppers. Her trust in the Operas ballet is shaken when she discovers the ins and outs of the relationship between ballerinas and the loving audience, les abonnes who support them. While working hard to earn the ballet-star role and trying to understand the famous painter Edgar Degas, who paints her numerous times, Alexandrie is just savouring la vie parisienne Wagner fictionally recreates impressionisms frantic spirit, defined by conversations and debates between Monet, Pissaro and Degas at Caf Guerbois. A story about ambition, integrity, love and the meaning of art, Dancing for Degas has captivated me from beginning to end thanks to the fresh writing, Alexandries incorruptible character and Degas moody figure. Lets meet the author of the novel:

Dancing for Degas can be regarded as an homage to two of the most beautiful arts: ballet and painting. What was the inspiration for putting them together? What I loved most about writing Dancing for Degas was bringing Degas paintings to life. The research I found on the young ballerinas, the abonnes, and Degas was fascinating and not always beautiful. Underneath the surface was a juxtaposition of many of ballerinas motives for entering the ballet and Degas isolation. This was where I found inspiration for my main character, Alexandries, story.

I think Alexandrie is a very strong character, that tries to stay true to herself in spite of everything, fights for her dreams and despises compromises. How can literature, young women and society adopt role models like that? What are your thoughts on feminism? I think Alexandrie is strong in a relatable way because she had a specific goal to be independent and not have to rely on another person for her livelihood. I think the best role models are women who shape their own lives and have the confidence to go after their dreams. This could be leaving a high paying job they hate to pursue something they love, and ultimately leading a happier life. I love a good rags to riches story, but dreams are about happiness and I think a lot of us forget that along the road to success. I consider myself a feminist because I feel strongly that a woman should never compromise herself or have to rely on another person because she feels like she doesnt have any other options. This is an ongoing theme in Dancing for Degas as Alexandrie observes her own familys situation and then glimpses into the ethical cost of entering the world of the abonnes.

How much do you identify with Alexandrie?

I relate to Alexandrie because she is a bit of a dreamer but she works really hard to achieve her dreams. I try to live my life that way as well. In fact, writing a novel was one of my ultimate dreams! I recently opened a consulting firm with a colleague of mine. It was extremely scary to leave the security of a regular paycheck, but ultimately rewarding to be in control of my own career. I feel strongly that you should never wake up in the morning and dread the day ahead. Thats when its time to make a change because life is too short.

What do you like most about Edgar Degas, what struck you in particular about his biography and painting? I was amazed at his dedication to his art. I was surprised to find out that he had struggled with his sight and went blind at the end of his life. It really struck a chord with me because he lived for his art to such an extreme that at the end of his life he couldnt even see all that he had accomplished. Its heartbreaking, really.

Do you relate to the bohemian way of being an artist, as Degas, or do you prefer the organised, focused kind of work (Alexandrie)? I think a little bit of both. I dont like to sit behind a desk all day and thrive on multiple, creative projects. However, Im pretty focused and organized when it comes to completing my projects. My stomach gets all knotted up at the thought of missing a deadline!

How and when did you start writing? I started writing in college and that led to a degree in journalism. Ive written for several newspapers and have found steady work in proposal writing. Dancing for Degas was a labor of love that took about three years from start to publication. It became a special project that I did on the side and I fell more and more in love with the story and its characters.

What tips on writing would you give to an aspiring writer? The most important thing is to love what you are writing so much that it doesnt matter if it gets published. Writing fiction should be fun and an emotional release you look forward to working on every day. Once your book takes shape, give it to friends or reading groups and listen to their feedback. Once you feel its in good enough shape to find a literary agent to represent you, get ready for the two Rs rejection letters and revisions. A lot of agents will include reasons why they do not want to represent your book. This can be very helpful in revising the manuscript so other potential agents dont have the same reaction. For example, I got a lot of feedback that Alexandrie came off as a little spoiled and unlikeable. I worked to revise her character and found an agent who connected with her story.

In your opinion, how can literature improve ones life? Literature sharpens your mind because you imagine the scene as you read it. Its active entertainment, rather than zoning out in front of the television. I would persuade someone to read by reading something that interests him or her. It doesnt matter how smart the book is as long as the reader finds it entertaining. Books are a great escape from the everyday. Every new parent should read to their child from the start so they grow up in a print-rich environment that positively affects brain development.

Who are your favourite writers? I got into historical fiction after reading Philippa Gregory. I love her stories based on the scandal of the courts! I recently read Night Film by Marisha Pessl and loved it so much that I immediately started reading her first book. David Sedaris makes me laugh out loud and Ann Rule writes the best true crime.

Can you give us a little info on what youre working on at the moment? Im researching the life of Edvard Munch and trying to figure out if I want to write another historical novel or a present day novel based on his life. Munch is the Norwegian artist most famous for The Scream, and I cannot get enough of the crazy characters he surrounded himself with. sursa foto i mai multe despre autoare: kathrynwagnerbooks.com